Baden-Powell inspects Scouts in Luton

SCOUTING in Luton is as popular as ever today – 105 years after the movement was started by Lord Robert Baden-Powell.

More and more youngsters are joining the various Beavers, Cubs and Scouts groups around the town and their activities are regularly featured on the Clubs & Community pages in the Luton News.

Pictured above are two Scouts events from the early 1950s.

Founder Lord Baden-Powell died in 1941, but his son, Peter, was heavily involved in the organisation.

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He’s pictured, left, inspecting the Scouts on parade at the opening of their new headquarters in Manor Road, off Park Street, Luton, in 1953.

Bedfordshire Scouts’ archive contains the programme for the opening ceremony of the 4th Luton St Mary’s Scouts and the 6th Luton St Mary’s Guides, who were both based in that building, on March 14.

Sadly, the St Mary’s group no longer exists, but Yesteryear would like to hear memories from readers who were in the Scouts or Guides there.

Incidentally, the elder Baden-Powell was a great fan of James Barrie’s Peter Pan and admitted that the names of his son, Peter, and daughter, Wendy, were inspired by the play.

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We would also like you to drop us a line if you took part in the Scouts’ St George’s Day parade, above right, in Luton town centre in April 1950.

The Luton News cameraman took up a position outside the Town Hall as the procession passed the corner of George Street and Williamson Street.

> Many thanks to David Barker who wrote to say he was interested to read last week’s Yesteryear feature about ten Luton-born Olympians.

Mr Barker pointed out that the article failed to mention race walker George Coleman, who competed in both the 1952 (Helsinki) and 1956 (Melbourne) Olympics, finishing 5th and 7th respectively.

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George was born in Luton in 1916, lived much of his life here and was very well known at Vauxhall Motors. His father was a hat manufacturer.

George met his wife, Vera, at the Alma Ballroom and the couple married in 1939.

He joined the Beds and Herts Infantry in April 1940, the same day that his wife gave birth to their first child, Susan.

A semi-professional musician who played piano in local dance bands, while entertaining on a troop ship to Burma he was co-opted into ENSA and disembarked in Africa, where he spent the majority of his Army service.

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Discharged in 1946, he started work at Vauxhall’s factory in Luton as a pattern maker, joined the recreation club and became interested in race walking.

He held several British records and won many major walking and cross country running titles.

George, a member of the Highgate Harriers club, died in 2005.

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